The governments of Indonesia and the Netherlands declared on November 20 that they would raise their relations to the level of a comprehensive partnership between equals.

The two countries’ joint statement on their partnership was released during Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s working visit to Indonesia .

Speaking after talks with the Netherlands PM, Indonesian President Susilo BambangYudhoyono said the friendship and cooperation between the two countries are growing, and expressed hope that the visit will help further boost bilateral trade, as the Netherlands is an important gateway for Indonesia’s goods to penetrate the European markets.

PM Rutte affirmed that the Netherlands wishes to strengthen bilateral ties to help Indonesia in some economic sectors that will benefit both partners, especially improving irrigation, climate change response and upgrading Indonesia’s largest seaport - Tanjung Priok.

The two leaders also witnessed the signing of many agreements in the areas of defence, education, fisheries and tourism.

The Netherlands is currently the largest European investor in Indonesia, with 150 companies worth roughly 1 billion USD in 2013, as well as its second biggest commercial partner, with two-way trade volume rising by 18 percent to hit 5 billion USD last year.-VNA